Overall we were very pleased with the travel company and trip itinerary. Our agent, kept in touch as we traveled to make sure that we were happy or to fix any problems that had occurred (very few). We do appreciate that personal interaction.
Our guides also seemed to like interacting with the travel company. Most were independent but did like the working relationship with this agency. One observation is that, although all the guides provided great information and had excellent command of English, the younger ones were easier to understand. I am sure this is due to more exposure to English through pop music etc as they were growing up and thus less strong accents.
We do have some suggestions of what we would modify if repeating the trip and assume these comments will be forwarded to the travel company. Please see below for specifics.
We only had one full day in Hanoi but did get the flavor of the city. We asked our agent about attending a water puppet show and she gave options but suggested we attend the one at the Ethnology Museum. This was fine as it gave us a good idea about such presentations and timed just right. We were tired from our trip to Vietnam and would not have appreciated a longer evening performance.
Seaplane flight to Ha Long Bay was a high-point. I would strongly recommend this to customers. The cruise on the bay was excellent. Ship was well appointed, cabins large and very comfortable, and food and activities all good.
The cooking class in Hoi An was very good but took a full day. Suggestions about that below.
We enjoyed the cruise in the Mekong Delta although the ride to the boat was long and uninteresting. The boat was quite comfortable and guide was very good. It was just the right length. We elected to drive straight back to Saigon afterwards with short stops at some interesting temples. Although our time in Saigon was short, we did get a flavor of this very modern and bustling city and visited local highlights.
All accommodations were first rate and very nice in all respects. Loved the hotel in Saigon.
We did the trip in the right order as Ha Long Bay was a high-point and the next best part was Cambodia and Siem Reap. We had an excellent guide there and, with the exception of one lunch, did see a lot and enjoyed the stop. We really enjoyed the trip to the floating village on the 3rd day.
Drive from Ha Long Bay back to the airport for our flight to Hoi An was long but this will soon be solved when planes can be taken from the new airport directly to Danang.
Hoi An is small and quite touristy. Our guided tour only took about 2.5hrs as we were not interested in shopping along the way. Had we realized this we would have arranged to go to My Son in the afternoon. As it was we ended up sitting around the hotel. This should be an option for those who want an active trip.
The cooking class in Hoi An was excellent. However, we had to leave early to get to the airport for our trip to Saigon. A couple suggestions for the class would be to have fewer dishes (perhaps one per couple rather than one/person) and fewer people. We did not get to see how other dishes were prepared as we were too busy with our own. Also, seeing the recipe for our dish prior to making it would have helped us understand preparation better. However, our instructor, did a great job leading us through the market and also giving cooking tips along the way. I just would have enjoyed a slightly slower pace during the class so that I could have absorbed more of her knowledge. In our case it would have worked better to have this on our first full day in Hoi An and then the city tour on the shorter day when we were to fly out in the late afternoon.
Trip out to our boat in the Mekong Delta was long and tedious. There was nothing very interesting to see. I would have considered flying out to the boat location rather than take the ~4hr car trip. Coming back wasn't so bad as we were closer to Saigon and trip was shorter with some sites to see along the way.
Siem Reap was good with the exception on one lunch (second day). It was at a very large noisy tourist restaurant with fair service and rather poor food. We had a great lunch at a private location the day before so this was a real letdown. Lunch at the floating village trip was also good as it was at a private home-stay location and much more personal.
We did have a problem in Bangkok at the airport hotel. They could not find our reservation and, after about 45min, we just asked for them to give us a room that we would pay for. They later found the reservation but we had a very short night sleep before our trip home as a result. This was not the fault of the travel agent but rather an incorrect entry of the name on the reservation by the hotel. We have complained directly to them and do feel that they owe us some compensation for their incompetence.
Thank you very much for your detailed feedback and your travel review posted on Zicasso.com. Through the Zicasso website, you have really brightened Haivenu's image and strengthened its confidence of being a professional tour operator in Vietnam. We value your feedback very highly and use it to improve our service.
I am glad to know that you were very pleased with our company and the trip order. Your praises on our professional personal tour operator, Phuong as well as our dedicated guides did add us with pride and inspiration to do our job better.I’m pleased to know that our guides and personal tour operators did their jobs with heart to keep engaging with Haivenu’s standards and spirit.
I’m pleased to hear that you had so many enjoyable experiences and thankful for your sharing some highlights of the tour in details. We really appreciate your comments on the day in Hanoi, seaplane flight to Halong Bay, the boat cruise in Halong Bay and in the Mekong Delta, the cooking class in Hoi An, which would be very helpful for us not only to advise you better in your next trip with Haivenu but also to enrich our design for other travellers who have the same style with you.
We would like to share with you your feedback of the long drive from Ha Long Bay to Noi Bai airport and about Hoi An. The newly built Van Don airport has just opened in December 30, 2018 so will be more convenient for those who wish to fly directly between Halong Bay and Ho Chi Minh City (the only current flight route from Van Don airport). For Hoi An, since the ancient town is a favorite place of most of our customers, tourism is now growing fast here and somehow makes the town is crowded some times of the day or at weekend. We often give the travellers half a day for touring the ancient town, then rest of the day is for their own exploration for wandering around, sitting at a café or walking around for street foods in Hoi An, must-do things in Hoi An. Besides touring the ancient town area, we do have plenty of optional tours in Hoi An such as the foodie tour by Vespa, the farmer and fisherman tour, Cu Lao Cham island, My Son tour … but due to your time constraint we only include walking tour and the cooking class for your time in Hoi An. We actually did not suggest you to visit My Son since later you will visit Angkor temples which is much better and is a masterpiece to compare with My Son.
We are also sorry that you have to leave the cooking class in Hoi An early for the flight to Saigon. We appreciate your opinion on having fewer dishes in the class and seeing the recipe for your dish prior to making it for better preparation. We’ve carefully noted this and also your comment regarding the order of your tour in Hoi An to our team and to the cooking school instructor for improvement.
We’ve noted carefully your comments about the drive to Can Tho which was long, so far this is the only way to Can Tho and we already travel on the new highway for fastest way. The airport in Can Tho works but for the flights to Phu Quoc, Danang, Hanoi and Con Dao only.
For the lunch which you think touristy in Siem Reap, please be aware that all restaurants in the Angkor temples area are all crowded which we can’t avoid. But we have noted not too use this restaurant for next groups. Luckily you enjoyed the next restaurant and the dinner at local house.
We have sent your feedback to Novotel airport hotel in Bangkok since the mistake was due to their reservation input a wrong spelling of your name in the booking, and received their sincere apology to you as well as their action of working with their staffs about this mistake. They wish to have you at their hotel next time so they can serve you better. We wish you called us when the issue happened so we would be able to solve the issue and ask their compensation for you right away.
We really appreciate all your detailed comments and opinion, which helps us a lot to improve our services. We also noted everything your wrote here in our customer database so as to enrich our itinerary for you in your next trip with us as well as for our future customers who have the same style with yours.
On behalf of our staff members, many thanks for travelling with Haivenu - we enjoyed working with you. Our good wishes go with you, looking forward to see you soon in your next trip.
Each review is written by a verified traveler who was matched by Zicasso to the reviewed agency. Traveler must have purchased and traveled.
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